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Bail granted in prank gun call that led to massive emergency response

CityNews | posted Friday, Nov 3rd, 2017

Gregory Frank Goodridge, 54, appears in a Toronto courtroom on Nov. 2, 2017, charged with public mischief. CITYNEWS/(Marianne Boucher

Toronto police have made an arrest in connection with an alleged prank gun call that saw a bustling part of the downtown core cordoned off for several hours.

Last Thursday afternoon around 1 p.m., police received a call about a man with a gun who had forced someone into a marijuana dispensary on King Street West, near Blue Jays Way.

The call prompted an immediate and massive response, with ambulances, artillery vehicles and heavily-armed Emergency Task Force officers swarming the area.

Streets were shut down and TTC vehicles were diverted, causing a massive traffic backlog.

“Quite a few resources were used,” Const. Allyson Douglas-Cook told CityNews last week. “And there were quite a few different services in attendance and it was a disruption to say the least in the area.”

Local businesses also complained they lost significant income as a result of police closing the area to all vehicle and foot traffic for most of the day.

In the end, police didn’t find anyone with a gun on the premises, and concluded the call was a time-consuming and costly prank.

Police later said they believed the fake tip was called in from a payphone near Spadina Avenue and Cecil Street, and released security images of a suspect.

On Wednesday, Gregory Frank Goodridge, 54, was arrested. He’s facing a single count of public mischief.

Goodridge made a court appearance on Thursday and was released on bail on a promise to appear in court on a future date. His bail conditions include not being within five meters of the marijuana dispensary targeted by the alleged prank call.

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